Invented by the Mullany family of Shelton, Connecticut in 1953 because they did not have enough players for baseball or softball, and couldn't throw breaking pitches with a plastic golf ball, the wiffleball is a baseball-sized white plastic hollow ball with eight oblong perforations on one side. It is these perforations that make the ball curve so easily - as a general rule, the ball will curve away from the angle at which the holes face. The design of the wiffleball also makes it nearly impossible to hit or throw a great distance, which allows a wiffleball game to consist of as few as two people, and cuts down time spent chasing to a minimum. The wiffleball gets it name from the high number of strikeouts, or "wiffs", that it produces.

The rules of a typical wiffleball game have been changed to accomodate a 1-on-1 backyard matchup. Players do not run after hitting the ball. The number of bases awarded is based on predetermined rules (e.g. "Off the fence in the air is a double", "Past the pitcher on the ground is a single), and baserunners are kept track of as invisible men. Balls and strikes are also not called in wiffleball... the batter must either strike out swinging or put the ball in play. Official rules can be found on the website of Wiffle Inc. (www.wiffle.com), but typically, different neighborhoods come up with their own ground rules based on players' habits.